Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.
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Blue Rodeo - Riding High

When Wayne Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame at a gala ceremony last November, only two artists were asked to perform: Stompin’ Tom Connors and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy. For Cuddy, who plays pickup hockey throughout the winter with a group of musicians, including members of the Rheostatics and the Tragically Hip, the invitation stands as a career highlight. But the 44-year-old singer-guitarist says he’s still a bit embarrassed about how he actually got to meet the Great One. “I inflicted myself on him at the end of the night,” recalls Cuddy, still shaking his head in disgust. “Everyone was getting their picture taken with him and I just jumped right in. He was very gracious abo...
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Blue Rodeo - Urban Cowboys

The concert began and ended badly. Minutes before the members of Blue Rodeo were due onstage at the student lounge of Erindale College in suburban Toronto, the band’s manager, John Caton, had been refused admittance. A student security guard with a penchant for protocol insisted that because Caton had no photo identification proving he was old enough to drink, the manager—who is 39—could not go in. Undeterred, Blue Rodeo gave a spirited two-hour performance. Yet some people in the audience of 300 failed to give the show their full attention: it had been exam week, and several students were more interested in consuming large quantities of beer than in listening to the band’s thoughtful brand ...
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Puck Rock - Rock 'n' Hockey

A battle of the bands is usually won by the group with the best guitar pyrotechnics and drum solos. But last year at an indoor rink in Toronto’s west end, some of Canada’s best-known musicians settled the score with slapshots, glove saves—and punches. The Black Stokes were facing their archrivals, the Morningstars, in the playoff semi-final of a recreational hockey league. Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, Cowboy Junkies’ Peter Timmins and Skydiggers’ Andy Maize were all playing for the Black Stokes, while Rheostatics’ Dave Bidini and members of such bands as Lowest of the Low and the Morganfields were among the Morningstars. In a previous game between the two teams, a bitterly fought contest won by t...
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Music Review: Lori Yates - Breaking Point

Lori Yates' country roots run deep--in Toronto's Queen Street music scene, not Nashville. So when CBS Records signed the singer and flew her down to Music City to record a debut album in 1989, it proved to be a mistake: Can't Stop the Girl not only took the girl our of the country, it also took the country--at least Yates' special brand of it--out of the girl. Five years later, the spirited singer finally gets the introduction she deserves with Breaking Point, a superb collection of rocking country and bluesy pop tunes written and performed with the cream of Queen Street talent. A gritty heartache number like "Make a Liar Out of Me," with backup vocals by Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy and guitarist...
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Music Review: Jim Cuddy - Constellation

Like Blue Rodeo’s albums, Jim Cuddy’s solo records blend country-tinged rock with pop ballads. The only real difference is that, without Greg Keelor, his co-frontman in Blue Rodeo, Cuddy’s recordings are generally more upbeat. That said, some of the best songs on Constellation are those steeped in melancholy. The title track is a piano ballad about a dying friend. Cuddy, 62, sings about struggling to say goodbye as the song builds to a stirring crescendo. “You Be the Leaver” is another meditation on separation and includes the memorable line “So you be the leaver, I’ll be the left behind.” But there are plenty of brighter moments. The joyous, organ-fuelled “While I Was Waiting” revels in fin...
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